Clinton Crushes In Mississippi, Sanders In Michigan, Clinton Still Controls The Race

Hilary Clinton crushed Bernie Sanders in Mississippi, but was surprised by Bernie Sanders in Michigan. Nonetheless she still remains in control of the race.

Bernie Sanders Hillary ClintonAs expected, Hillary Clinton pulled off yet another massive win in a heavily African-American state, but that win was offset to some degree by a narrow loss to Bernie Sanders in Michigan:

Sen. Bernie Sanders pulled off a narrow upset in the Michigan primary Tuesday, buoying his challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and giving him bragging rights to a big, diverse state outside his previous areas of strength.

Sanders’s come-from-behind victory was fueled by a relentless focus on his opposition to “disastrous” trade deals that have battered the manufacturing sector in Michigan. He will carry the same message to Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri next week.

Clinton, meanwhile, cruised to an expected win in the primary in Mississippi, the latest in a series of contests in Southern states where she has bested Sanders largely on the strength of her appeal to African American voters.

Clinton had always been favored in Mississippi, and Sanders did not seriously compete there. With most precincts reporting late Tuesday, she boasted a 67-point lead. Clinton’s victory was amplified by her strength among African American voters — who made up a greater share of the electorate in Mississippi than in any other state that has voted this year, according to preliminary exit polling reported by CNN.

In Michigan, Sanders performed more strongly among black voters than he has in other states.

“What tonight means is that the Bernie Sanders campaign . . . is strong in every part of the country, and frankly, we believe that our strongest areas are yet to happen,” the senator from Vermont said during a hastily arranged address to reporters here.

“What the American people are saying is they are tired of a corrupt campaign finance system and super PACs funded by Wall Street and the billionaire class.”

Despite Tuesday’s split decision, Clinton’s overwhelming victory in Mississippi increased her large lead in the delegate count needed for the Democratic nomination. But Sanders’s triumph in Michigan — on the heels of wins in three smaller states over the weekend — signals that the nomination fight is likely to remain a slog. Sanders has vowed to stay in the race until the Democratic convention in July, and his advisers have argued that the upcoming calendar of states is more favorable to him than those that have voted thus far.

The outcome raises the stakes for a candidates’ debate Wednesday, sponsored by The Washington Post and Univision and broadcast from delegate-rich Florida, which also holds a primary next week. It will also air on CNN.

Clinton has now won 13 states in this Democratic primary contest, including eight from the old Confederacy, where black voters are a major force in any Democratic race. Sanders has won nine states, but — because many of his victories were in smaller states, and because Clinton has dominated among superdelegates, who make up their own minds — he is far behind in the race for delegates to the Democratic convention.

Michigan was the prize Tuesday, with 130 delegates at stake. With most precincts reporting, Sanders was ahead by two percentage points.

On the eve of the primary, Clinton urged her supporters to vote so that she could quickly wrap up the Democratic nomination.

“The sooner I can become your nominee, the more I can begin to turn my attention to the Republicans,” she told a crowd of nearly 900 in Detroit.

She moved on to next-door Ohio — which will vote next Tuesday — where she addressed a primary night party before the results in Michigan were clear.

She pivoted past Tuesday’s contests to appeal to Ohio voters, merging her economic message with her call for a kinder, gentler politics. She noted her support for the auto bailout when the industry was “on the brink.” And she touted her proposal to force companies that move their operations overseas to pay an exit tax.

(…)

Sanders campaigned hard in Michigan, holding large rallies across the state over the past week and hammering Clinton for what he called her record of failure on trade and job protection — an appealing message in a state that has lost manufacturing jobs.

“While others waffle, Bernie is fighting hundreds of thousands in new job losses,” said the narrator of a Sanders television ad in heavy rotation in the state.

Nearly 6 in 10 Michigan Democratic primary voters said international trade takes away U.S. jobs, and Sanders won those voters by roughly 20 percentage points, according to preliminary exit poll data reported by CNN. Only 3 in 10 said trade with other countries creates domestic jobs, and Clinton won this group narrowly, 50 to 45 percent.

Sanders was losing African American voters by 2 to 1 in the preliminary exit polling, which would mark a significant improvement for him. He has lost black voters to Clinton by an average of 84 to 16 percent across primary states with exit polls this year.

His campaign had pledged to try to improve outreach to black voters, starting in Michigan, where the auto industry and manufacturing once fueled the expansion of a black middle class that has now been hollowed out.

Clinton focused on turning out African American voters, who, while not a majority of the Democratic electorate in Michigan, are a reliable and concentrated constituency. She has championed the residents of majority-black Flint, beset by a lead-poisoning crisis. She secured the endorsement of the city’s mayor and made her response to the lead crisis a major part of her outreach to African Americans. Remarkably, Sanders was ahead in Genesee County, home of Flint, late Tuesday.

Sanders’s aides had acknowledged that he had to start winning some big states to have any chance of catching Clinton in the delegate count. Michigan was seen as a nearly ideal target, given Sanders’s core message of a “rigged economy” and his emphasis on opposition to trade deals dating back to the North American Free Trade Agreement of the early 1990s.

The candidate left Michigan early Tuesday afternoon and headed to Miami, where he held an evening rally. He plans to actively campaign in Florida, which has a key primary next week, though aides concede that it will be a tough fight, in part because of demographics. The state has a large elderly population, which has been a Clinton strength.

Sanders, by contrast, has done far better with younger voters.

Sanders aides said he is also targeting other states that will vote next Tuesday: Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

Clinton’s advisers had sought to lower expectations in recent days, saying Sanders had some advantages among the working-class, whiter Democratic electorate in Michigan. Her advisers had said they were confident she would win, however.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook sent out a fundraising plea Tuesday that suggested she could lose one of the day’s elections. “It’s absolutely critical that we pick up the momentum we need to take the last of March’s big contests,” the pitch read.

“In just one week, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri will vote, with 691 pledged delegates at stake — that’s almost as many as Super Tuesday. If we can bring home a substantial portion of those delegates, we can make a decisive statement that Hillary will be our party’s nominee,” Mook wrote.

“But if Bernie narrows our lead too much, this primary could drag on for months, siphoning time and money away from the work we need to start right now to win in November.”

 

Because of his online fundraising prowess, Sanders’s aides have argued that he has the luxury of more time than would otherwise be the case, given his deficit in the delegate chase.

Many candidates drop out of presidential races because they run out of money. Sanders doesn’t face that danger anytime soon.

In the closing days of the Michigan contest, Sanders found himself largely playing defense, seeking to push back against a charge Clinton made in Sunday’s CNN debate in Flint that he opposed funding an auto bailout important to Michigan voters.

Sanders debuted a one-minute radio ad Monday accusing Clinton of “trying to distort the truth about Bernie’s record” and saying the senator from Vermont “has always been on the side of Michigan workers and working families.”

Sanders made the same argument during a series of rallies Monday in Michigan, telling an Ann Arbor crowd of more than 5,700 that “of course I voted to defend the automobile industry.”

Given the fact that Michigan has its own fairly large African-American population, expectations were that Clinton would continue her winning ways in the Great Lake State and that Sanders really didn’t have much of a chance of doing anything interesting yesterday. As it turned out, though, Sanders decision to aggressively campaign on the impact that trade deal like those that Clinton had supported was something that voters in Michigan were clearly sympathetic too. Clinton attempted to push back against that message by emphasizing her support for the auto bailout that was implemented at the beginning of the Obama Administration. This time, though, Clinton’ strategy proved insufficient and many analysts are wondering if Sanders has hit upon an issue, international trade, that could help him in other Midwestern states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin which have also been hit hard by the effect of international competition on domestic industry. Whether that’s actually the case will remain to be seen.

Despite Sanders win, the Vermont Senator still fell behind in the all-important delegate race. Of the delegates at stake last night, Hillary Clinton won 87 delegates while Bernie Sanders won 69. Not counting Superdelegates, Clinton now has 745 delegates compared to 540 delegates for Sanders, giving Clinton 54.89% of the 1,285 delegate awarded to date. This means that Clinton needs to win 51.98% of the remaining delegates to get the 2,382 needed to win the nomination. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, now has 540 of the pledged delegates, giving him 42.02% of the delegates awarded so far. This means that Sanders would need to win 66.65% of the remaining delegates to get to the majority, a figure that, while not mathematically impossible is certainly very difficult to achieve. Given this, even though Sanders had a good night last night the long term momentum is still very much in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Unless the direction of the Democratic campaign changes soon, Clinton remains the likely Democratic nominee notwithstanding the occasional surprise from Bernie Sanders along the way.

Update: Delegate calculations in the concluding paragraph were revised due to an error in the initial post.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I have been eagerly waiting to find out how Sanders’ win in Michigan signals the imminent destruction of his campaign.

  2. I wonder why the delegate counts in either party don’t seem to be weighted based on how likely the nominee is to be competitive in that state during the general election. e.g. Does it really matter whether Texas democrats prefer Clinton or Sanders? It seems to me the nominee’s popularity in Michigan is far more important.

  3. Tillman says:

    Ruby Cramer, writer for Buzzfeed News following the Clinton campaign, tweeted that Michigan came down to organizational failure. The campaign took for granted the earned media and polling, and didn’t expect Sanders to beat something like a twenty-point deficit in the polling average. Which just reaffirmed every doubt I’ve ever had about Clinton’s campaign.

    Also noteworthy, this result replicated the trend seen in New Hampshire that Sanders appeals most to independents. I’d think this would undercut the constant electability arguments against him, and I continue to be wrong.

  4. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Tillman: I agree with your second point. Partisans are likely to fall in line whether it is Clinton or Sanders. But I think (but could be wrong) that the population of people who will never vote for Clinton is quite a bit larger than the population of people who will never vote for Sanders. And that marginal difference could be key in purple states who generally end up splitting something like 53 – 47.

  5. R. Dave says:

    I hate to ask this question, but does anyone know whether there’s been any polling on how much (if at all) antisemitism factors into the black community’s preference for Clinton? I know a number of studies have shown that antisemitism is significantly more prevalent among black Americans than it is among white Americans these days, but I haven’t seen any polling at all that raises the question vis-a-vis the Clinton/Sanders split among black voters.

  6. Scott says:

    @Tillman:

    Also noteworthy, this result replicated the trend seen in New Hampshire that Sanders appeals most to independents.

    Michigan was an open primary state. According to a graphic that CNN put up, Sanders won about 70% of independents.

  7. Mikey says:

    Is this a forgettable fluke, or a sign of a real vulnerability for Clinton? Next Tuesday are primaries in Ohio and Illinois, both of which, like Michigan, are open primaries, and both of which are a great deal closer to Michigan in outlook than to Mississippi.

    Whether Sanders can pull off upsets in those states remains to be seen, of course, and there are other states that would seem solid locks for Clinton.

    But so did Michigan…

  8. An Interested Party says:

    All these independents who are supporting Sanders…are they really going to turn around and support Trump in the general election…

  9. Jen says:

    @An Interested Party: It isn’t really the independents who are voting for Sanders who are in question. It’s the independents who don’t bother to vote in primaries or caucuses, but do vote in the general election, who are the wild cards, I think.

    Is it still holding true that voter participation in the primaries/caucuses is up above 2008 levels for Republicans, but flat or down for Democrats? I know we in NH broke a record for participation in the primary, but IIRC, there were fewer Democrat ballots pulled than Republican, meaning the record participation was on the R side. (I’ll try and find the numbers but I think the D ballots pulled in NH was at or below the number from 2008.)

    That could matter too, I think. In watching these numbers it’s important to remember that the voting population for the selection phase is lower than for the general election.

  10. Jack says:

    If Hillary Clinton was the right woman for the job, no one would know Monica Lewinski’s name.

  11. EddieInCA says:

    After Bernie’s YUUUUUGE win in Michigan last night, he gained a total of -20 delegates last night. That’s right. MINUS 20. He was closer on Monday, before he won Michigan. He fell further behind in the delegate count after his win in Michigan. Why? How? Because he lost by 65+ points in Mississippi. So despite the huge win in Michigan for Bernie, two more states down, and Clinton keeps upping her lead in delegates.

    It’s math people. Basic math.

  12. Jack says:

    Well said:

    “Maybe it turned out to be a bad idea for Hillary to go into Michigan and tell working-class primary voters she cared more about her wild-eyed gun control schemes than she did about good manufacturing jobs. [A] talented politician would know you don’t go into a state that’s been hammered by the loss of manufacturing jobs and state there are some good manufacturing jobs (making firearms) that the country could do without. But as you all well know, I think Hillary’s got less political talent than your average high school class president.

    Hillary’s strange obsession with the PLCAA isn’t doing her any favors. I think if Bernie backed away from more gun control, it might even help him gain. Remember, 20% of Dems own guns too.” – Sebastian

  13. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    There have been several studies done that show zero correlation between primary turnout and general election turnout.

    The bottom line is that most people aren’t paying attention yet. It will be very interesting to see what develops in a race between two people with 100% name recognition.

    Alot of the attacks that Trump has been leveling against Marco and Ted wont’ fly against Clinton.

    Remember Rick Lazio? Yeah… Exactly.

  14. Guarneri says:

    “It’s math people. Basic math.”

    Its a rigged system, people. Basic machine politics.

    There, fixed it.

  15. EddieInCA says:

    @Guarneri:

    Its a rigged system, people. Basic machine politics.

    How so?

    Clinton is leading in States won.
    Clinton is leading in delegates won.
    Clinton is leading in SuperDelegates.
    Clinton is leading in raw vote totals.

    I don’t think your statement holds up to the facts.

    Shocking.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Guarneri: What @EddieInCA: said. MI and MS are both proportional. Hillary and Bernie essentially broke even in MI and Hillary took MS what 3:1? So she gets more of the delegates from yesterday.

  17. Facebones says:

    Since pollsters are generally not wrong by 25 points, how much of this was due to ratfcking by Republicans? I hear (anecdotally) of a number of Democrats who were going to cross lines and vote for Trump in order to end Kasich and Rubio. Is it possible R’s did the same and voted for Bernie?

  18. charon says:

    @Jack:

    Obviously, you still don’t know Monica Lewinsky’s name.

  19. Ratufa says:

    @EddieInCA:

    To some extent, Guarneri is correct. Candidates that are favored by the Democratic “establishment” do have an advantage that is intentionally built into the Democratic nomination process. Some details here:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/superdelegates-might-not-save-hillary-clinton/

    and more in the New Republic article linked to on that page.

    Now, that article was written before yesterday’s results, but that doesn’t change the general point that Bernie could, in theory, win a majority of elected delegates but not get the nomination because of superdelegates.

  20. Tillman says:

    @Facebones: The exit poll percentages for cross-party voting were fairly low, and it was more Democrats voting for Kasich than for Trump.

    FiveThirtyEight has a nice round-up of the various reasons for Sanders’s victory.

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    Next Tuesday is primaries in Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri and most importantly, the closed primary in Florida. Odds are she overperforms in Florida and North Carolina. Illinois will depend on African-American turnout in Cook County. Missouri and Ohio, probably even splits. Betting that the outcome of the day will be another substantial Clinton delegate gain.

    He’s too far behind mathematically to be posting the less than 50% he posted in Michigan. At this point his required average performance going forward to tie her in delegates has increased to 62.6%. To win he has to exceed that level. He’s moving in the wrong direction. I think the closed primary in NY may be what finally kills him. Later than I would prefer, but as long as he exits the stage before the convention, it’s all good.

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    The question that’s up in the air at the moment is whether the PAC attack dogs will be released or kept on their leash. I’m betting they get released. Sanders has gone negative, both in his latest debate performance as well as his ad buys in Michigan, which broke the seal and makes him fair game.

    If he performs better than expected next Tuesday, I’d say it’s a virtual certainty he starts feeling real attacks instead of the neighborhood bake sale he’s been treated to from Clinton surrogates thus far.

  23. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: All good points, no doubt. And you’re likely correct. But if any election in our lifetimes (assuming you’re the early-Gen-X-er I am) approaches Black Swan territory, it’s this one.

    If nothing else, it’s the most interesting.

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    I’m trying to be congenial towards him, even though I think he’s an unwelcome distraction at a time when the party needs to be coalescing and focusing all of its resources on defeating the actual enemy. The simple truth is that this is pretty much a center/right country, and the far left has no more chance of winning than the far right does. He’s introduced campaign themes which are, to be charitable, unachievable fantasies and he’s forced Clinton to move to the left, which damages her electability in the general in the same way that Romney having to pander to evangelicals made him radioactive in November.

    Truthfully, I didn’t mind him having his 15 minutes, but the longer he drags on, the less goodwill I have for him. He’s damaging the party and he isn’t even a Democrat. It’s well past time the party gets serious about winning in November and shuts him down.

  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jen:

    Participation tends to be higher when there are several candidates running. There just isn’t an equivalent sense of urgency when you have two and one is largely viewed as essentially already having been nominated. If / when Sanders drops out, you’ll see Dem turnout rates drop through the floor in areas where there isn’t a competitive down ballot race to motivate people. It’s just the nature of the beast.

    That having been said, it’s pretty well established that primary turnout doesn’t really correlate in any meaningful way with general election turnout. When it’s just Clinton and Trump, people will be well motivated to vote.

  26. PJ says:

    @Guarneri:

    Its a rigged system, people. Basic machine politics.

    Rigged system? Sure. The DNC awards states pledged delegates based on the number of Electoral votes they have and the proportion of votes that the state gave to the Democratic candidate in the last three elections.
    So, for example, Mississippi gets 6 pledge delegates for each of its electoral votes, Texas gets 5.8, Michigan gets 8.1, and California gets 8.6.
    Considering the states that Clinton has won so far and the states that Sanders has won, Clinton would have been further ahead if the DNC didn’t “rig the system”.

    Oh, btw, the GOP does the same.

  27. PJ says:

    And the only thing that the superdelegates may be able to do is to thwart the will of the people and award Sanders the nomination. Sanders isn’t going to be able to surpass Clinton in pledged delegates or total votes, the only way for him to do so would have to include superdelegates.

  28. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    At this point his required average performance going forward to tie her in delegates has increased to 62.6%

    I am guessing this is based on all delegates, including superdelegates. If one considers only the elected delegates, he need to get about 54% going forward to get to a pledged delegate tie, which I think more relevent..

    and he’s forced Clinton to move to the left, which damages her electability in the general

    I think the real damage he is doing are the escalating insinuations that she is dishonest. That is taking a toll.

  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @PJ:

    Exactly. After last night, the probability that he’ll win the nomination is around 11%, assuming the most favorable variables. The 95% confidence window puts it closer to a 7% chance he’ll prevail.

    As Eddie well pointed out, it’s all about the math. People who still believe Sanders will win either can’t add or they’re willfully engaging in a colossal level of suspension of disbelief. Probably both.

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    Without the superdelegates it’s around 57%, but it’s disingenuous to exclude them. Until he actually overtakes her in pledged delegates, which is exceedingly unlikely (see above), they’ll remain locked to Clinton. In fact, as PJ pointed out, the only scenario in which Sanders legitimately has a chance of being nominated involves widespread defection of superdelegates to his side despite him not having obtained a plurality of pledged delegates.

    I think you know that isn’t going to happen.

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    I think the real damage he is doing are the escalating insinuations that she is dishonest. That is taking a toll.

    That’s more of an issue in the primaries than in the general, I think. If he manages to force her to move too far to the left to the point where she doesn’t have a viable path back to the center (a la Romney & McCain) she’ll be toxic among moderates in November and that’ll be the ballgame. For the DNC, this guy should be public enemy number one at present. The sooner they get rid of him, the sooner they can go on the offensive against Trump and the more money they’ll have to do it with.

  32. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The sooner they get rid of him, the sooner they can go on the offensive against Trump and the more money they’ll have to do it with.

    The DNC etc. needs to be prudent and careful, because he represents some implicit threats. Best to keep him inside the tent, even if some of his pissing is inside also.

    Similar to why it is best to speak nice to his supporters.

  33. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    If Bernie got to, say, 51% of the pledged delegates, it wouldn’t switch many PLEO’s, but there would be some bad optics, bad publicity, and concern trolling from the media – not helpful to Democratic propects.

  34. PJ says:

    @charon:

    I am guessing this is based on all delegates, including superdelegates. If one considers only the elected delegates, he need to get about 54% going forward to get to a pledged delegate tie, which I think more relevent..

    Sanders’ 22 point victory in New Hampshire got him 6 more pledged delegates than Clinton.
    In Colorado he got a 19 point victory, 10 more delegates.
    Minnesota, 24 points, 15 more.
    Oklahoma, 10 points, 4 more.
    Vermont, 72 points, 16 more.
    Kansas, 36 points, 13 more.
    Nebraska, 11 points, 5 more.
    Maine, 8 points, 7 more.
    Michigan, 2 points, 8 more.

    So, in the states Sanders has won so far, he has netted a total of 84 more pledged delegates than Clinton.
    Clinton got 72 more pledged delegates than Sanders by her win in Texas. So Sanders nine wins vs Texas netted him 12 more delegates.

    Sander is currently trailing Clinton by 217 delegates.

    Does anyone think that Sanders is going route Clinton in New York (247 delegates)? Some sort of massive upset? Or upset in California (475), Florida (107), Pennsylvania (189), Illinois (156), or Ohio (143)? Just splitting those states would get Clinton 658 more delegates.

    Sanders may be able to deny Clinton 2383 pledged delegates, but he won’t be able to surpass her.

    And if the former happens, it will be fun to read the excuses from some Sanders supporters why it, suddenly, would be ok for the superdelegates to select the candidate who neither got more votes nor got more pledged delegates.
    Some wins will somehow be worth more than others. Which they, again, already are, so, even more worth…

  35. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    I agree with most of what you’ve said but,

    The simple truth is that this is pretty much a center/right country

    This gets regularly thrown out as conventional wisdom, but I’ve never seen any evidence that it is so. How does one come to this conclusion? What issues determine this? or is it just a general feeling people have?

  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    His supporters, from what I’ve seen, trend very white, very liberal and mostly young. That demographic can be counted on to do one thing – not show up on Election Day.

    The premise that we’ll lose blue states or even purple states without them is meaningless, given that we carried a huge plurality of electoral votes in two elections largely without their participation.

    If internet passion had any worth, Ron Paul would be president by now. I admit to having a sneaking suspicion that a whole lot of the people supporting Sanders now were probably supporting Ron Paul back then.

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:
  38. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The premise that we’ll lose blue states or even purple states without them is meaningless, given that we carried a huge plurality of electoral votes in two elections largely without their participation

    Electoral votes, whatever. What about the Senate? What about picking up seats in the House?

    Every election, here and there you get the occasional race with only a few votes separating. I say run up the score as much as possible, get the coattails working.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    We have zero hope of flipping the House before 2020, and only then if we recapture state legislatures prior to redistricting, which is doubtful IMO. You need to put that one entirely out of your head. It’s not going to happen under any scenario during the next presidential term.

    The Senate will be what it’ll be, that will depend much more on the candidates we select than whether resurgent hippies show up or not. They’re no more going to show up for moderate Senate candidates than they are for the presidency. Sanders may energize them, but I suspect he’ll be garlic for vampires where moderates and older voters are concerned, and they show up – reliably. Alienate them with McGovern redux and you’ve set the stage for a disaster. Senate candidates in his mold would do the same – and hand the Senate to Republicans for the next 4 years. The biggest factor in motivating Dems to show up in November won’t be Sanders – or Clinton. It’ll be Donald Trump.

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @PJ:

    Small correction – Florida has 214 pledged delegates.

  41. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    It says it’s so in a pretty meaningless way though. By the Gallup metric California is a conservative state (at least more conservative than liberal), In fact all of the stereotypically liberal bastions other than DC and Massachusetts are more conservative than liberal.
    By this metric if someone supports marriage equality, affirmative action, single payer healthcare, a social safety net as robust as Sweden, yet self identifies as conservative, then they are conservative. That is a mostly useless metric for anything other than how effective the right wing noise machine has been at demonizing the term liberal. The only thing interesting coming out of that poll is that that demonization is finally fading after what Reagan managed to do to the word.

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Grewgills:

    I’d like to meet this mythical person who supports all of those concepts, but self identifies as a conservative. Just saying.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @Grewgills: When people are asked to identify whether they are liberal or conservative, the average is center right. When polled on issues the average is center left. This reflects several things. People don’t really understand the terms liberal and conservative. The Mighty Right Wing Wurlitzer succeeded in making “liberal” sound bad. People actually like conservative philosophy and liberal policy and don’t recognize the contradiction. This is part of why Republicans debate anatomical comparisons and who’s more conservative while Hillary and Bernie debate policy.

  44. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Alienate them with McGovern redux and you’ve set the stage for a disaster.

    I think your fears are overblown, that HRC’s positions are pretty much where she wants them to be. Unless something really unprecedented occurs, after March 15 she has no reason not to focus on the general election.

    As it is, her husband’s administration has given her an image (IMO) of being farther right than she naturally is – or, given the public’s current views, should be..

  45. gVOR08 says:

    I saw a statement last night that 80% or so of those under 30 who voted in the MI Dem primary supported Bernie. It is driving some reexamination of my opinions on electability and coattails and how I’ll vot . But I haven’t seen numbers on how many under 30s actually voted. Historically, the little spits don’t vote. If I could see data that Bernie was driving turnout, I’d be a rabid supporter in a heartbeat.

    You want the government to take seriously student debt and availability of good entry level jobs, VOTE!

  46. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Going by memory, I recall 21% as the portion of Dem voters in Michigan under 30. One reason the polls were off was using numbers like 16% or 12% in the likely voter screens.

    The likely voter screens also overestimated the percentage of over 65 voters versus the actual turnout.

  47. Grewgills says:

    @charon:
    I think it was a 538 article I read yesterday that said some of the polling had estimated under 50 participation at about 25% and it ended up being over half. That is a pretty big miscalculation.

  48. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08:

    When people are asked to identify whether they are liberal or conservative, the average is center right. When polled on issues the average is center left.

    Dang, you got to this first. People say “I’m conservative” but when asked about actual policy positions–raising the minimum wage, raising taxes on high incomes, universal health coverage, free public college, etc.–clear majorities favor all those.

    Bernie Sanders is only “far left” relative to Americans’ answer on the liberal/conservative question. When the actual policies Americans favor are considered, he’s a total centrist. To just about any other country in the world, he’d be a bog-standard centrist social democrat. Americans aren’t so different from Europeans, we just like to pretend we are.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Grewgills: Thank you. Good article. (But is there really a pollster working this election named Bernie Porn?) I’m rethinking my vote Tu. Looks like Trump is getting more old people out. If Bernie can get the kids out…

  50. R. Dave says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Without the superdelegates it’s around 57%, but it’s disingenuous to exclude them.

    On the contrary, I think it’s disingenuous to include them at this point, since the precedent is for them to ultimately support whichever candidate gets the majority of pledged delegates. The relevant question at this point, therefore, is what Sanders needs in order to get that pledged delegate majority. The answer to that is he has to win 54-57% of the ones that are left, and that’s a more achievable than winning 62% as the OP suggested.

  51. charon says:
  52. charon says:
  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    A few observations –

    These figures presume that Sanders wins AK, HI, WA, WY and UT each by 34 points. That is not remotely, IMO, a realistic assumption.

    He has also arbitrarily changed current polling numbers, apparently where it suited him. For example, he has Clinton winning Illinois by 13 points. She’s polling +30.5 in Illinois. He has her winning Florida by 29 points. She’s polling +31.5 in Florida.

    More tellingly, he has Clinton winning CT by 4 points. She’s polling +15.5 in CT. Likewise RI – he has her winning by 2; she’s polling +9. The biggest whopper is KY – he has her winning by 5 points, when she’s polling +44 in Kentucky.

    It’s inventive, but it strikes me as somebody’s fantasy. The inputs aren’t accurate & don’t reflect polling reality. They were arbitrarily selected to produce the desired outcome.

  54. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @R. Dave:

    The answer to that is he has to win 54-57% of the ones that are left

    It means that he has to win every remaining state by a posted average of 54% to 57% at the present delegate counts.

    He is going to lose Florida. He’ll lose NY. He’ll lose KY. He’ll probably lose AZ, MD, and PA as well as a few others (notably California, where even a tie kills him dead). Every one that he loses raises that “must perform at” percentage higher.

    You guys are interpreting this as Sanders will, mathematically speaking, perform as though he won every remaining state by a minimum of 54%.

    That’s fantasy land.

  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    the average is center right. When polled on issues the average is center left.

    Not to be pedantic, but the average of center/left and center/right is center. Most of what Sanders is espousing are not centrist positions. They only seem centrist to leftists, who consider them to be the norm.

    That aside, it’s mostly immaterial, as the House will remain in GOP control (as I noted) for the totality of the next presidential term. None of it is going to happen, so it boils down to “were Sanders to be nominated, on the average will his policy proposals result in a net gain or net loss of Democratic votes (read: votes delivered to Democrats) on election day?

    I think the answer is a resounding no – especially after the Republican attack machine spends months gleefully highlighting certain things and using his own words to make him out to be Karl Marx reincarnated. Bernie’s problem is that he’s been around a LONG time, and he’s not shy of a microphone. It would all be used against him, and quite effectively, by GOP opposition researchers. They’ll get writers cramp.

  56. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m trying to be congenial towards him, even though I think he’s an unwelcome distraction at a time when the party needs to be coalescing and focusing all of its resources on defeating the actual enemy. The simple truth is that this is pretty much a center/right country, and the far left has no more chance of winning than the far right does. He’s introduced campaign themes which are, to be charitable, unachievable fantasies and he’s forced Clinton to move to the left, which damages her electability in the general in the same way that Romney having to pander to evangelicals made him radioactive in November.

    Oddly enough, though I think Clinton is the best candidate and hopefully will win the presidency, I think Sanders staying in and making a fight of it is by far the best thing for Clinton, the party, and the country.

    Some of that is because I think forcing Clinton to the left is very necessary, but also because there will be plenty of time to concentrate on whoever the Republicans decide on after the convention, and keeping up interest in the meantime is very important – and nothing does that like a good race.

    As well, Sander’s criticisms of Clinton aren’t ones that can be used by the Republican candidates in any case – they’re going to complain that she voted for the Iraq war, or has ties to Wall Street?

    The worst thing for the Democrats is a third party run like Nader’s in 2000; having Sanders in the process until the end, assuming he endorses Clinton at the convention (and he’s already said he’d do exactly that) will insulate against any independent that might arise. His running is a good thing.

  57. Tyrell says:

    @EddieInCA: No, not rigged. But there seems to be some controls exerted over the whole thing: debates, weird caucus activities, media slant. I am not yet sure who is behind this.

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    I updated this spreadsheet with the actual polling numbers. Where polling isn’t available, I used the national average (which is +0.114 Clinton). You can view it here. You’ll note that both the screwed up version originally posted and my corrected version both demonstrate the same thing I’ve been telling you – that going forward his required margin to prevail gets larger and larger, and Clinton goes over the top on June 7th. He’s going in the wrong direction.

    (and before you go there – setting the states with no polling data to 0 – which is an even split – still results in Clinton getting 2,381 pledged delegates.

    Like I said before, unless he posts serious blowouts going forward, and in states with more than a menial number of delegates to award, he’s finished.

  59. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Most of what Sanders is espousing are not centrist positions. They only seem centrist to leftists, who consider them to be the norm.

    Whether you call them “leftist” or “centrist,” it’s most accurate to describe them as “policies with which the majority of Americans agree.”

  60. charon says:

    @Mikey:

    “policies with which the majority of Americans agree.”

    Actually, no. All Bernie talks about are goals, most of which are really cool. “Policies” would involve ways to achieve these cool goals, which Bernie does not seem to feel he needs to bother with.

  61. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    It’s indeed also probably accurate to assert that most Americans agree with them, but don’t necessarily want to pay for them. They do tend to be fine with someone else paying for them. Just saying.

  62. Mikey says:

    @charon: I wanted to change “policies” to “positions” but it was too late to edit. 🙁

  63. jukeboxgrad says:

    most Americans agree with them, but don’t necessarily want to pay for them. They do tend to be fine with someone else paying for them.

    Can you show that there is any public policy or government expenditure where this statement does not apply? Since this statement presumably applies to every public policy, in what way does it shed any light?

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    it’s most accurate to describe them as “policies with which the majority of Americans agree.”

    Indeed. Link:

    More than 6-in-10 (63%) Americans agree that government should be doing more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Similar numbers (62%) say it is the responsibility of government to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. A majority (56%) of Americans also believe the government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it would require tax increases.

    And it’s not just that most Americans support policies that are supposedly ‘leftist’ or ‘progressive.’ It’s that a surprising number of Republican voters also support those policies. Link:

    56% favored raising taxes on households with incomes above $250,000

    Link:

    Among GOP primary voters, there is a substantial proportion with relatively liberal positions; 51 percent of Republican primary voters strongly or somewhat favor increasing taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year, and 38 percent have a favorable or very favorable opinion of labor unions, for instance.

    Also, “47 percent … favor a higher minimum wage [and] … 32 percent … favor ‘government paying necessary medical costs for every American citizen.’ ”

    We don’t have a center-right country. We just have a center-right government. There is a gap between people and government because the government has been bought. There are only two candidates saying this: Trump and Sanders.

    A key force in Trumpism is the economic distress of working class whites. There are two candidates who are doing exceptionally well with that group: Trump and Sanders. And it’s because they are seen as the only candidates who are deeply concerned about that distress.

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    Clinton supporters say that Trump will not be able to weaken her much in the fall, because she has survived decades of Republican attacks, and there’s nothing new to say against her. Trouble is, Trump will indeed use attacks that are new, and those attacks will connect Clinton to the economic distress of working class whites. Here’s what those attacks will probably look like:

    The Trump campaign speech that could beat Clinton this fall …

    “our country doesn’t win anymore … And you know when it started, people? I’ll tell you: It started in 1994, with that stupid NAFTA. That was her husband Bill’s idea. … he let Mexico rip us off. And then he had another genius idea: Renew most-favored-nation trade status for China … And then that idiot George W. Bush … he blew it all by starting the war in Iraq. Totally destabilized the Middle East, discredited our foreign policy — and she voted for it in the Senate! She voted for that stupid, stupid war and then five years later we have total financial meltdown, and Bush wants to bail out the banks — and she votes for that, too! Everything the last 25 years has her fingerprints on it, people. Libya! What a disaster! … She wanted to do that terrible, terrible Trans-Pacific trade deal, too, until she wimped out for the campaign.”

    Like all Trump pitches, this one would be over-the-top, tendentious, totally oblivious to valid countervailing considerations and arguments. Unlike many of them, however, it would have a relatively high fact content — just true enough to be effective, especially with the apparently large percentage of Democrats and Republicans who regret the Iraq War, abhor Wall Street and distrust trade deals.

    Hillary Clinton, either personally or by association with the past two Democratic administrations, has been involved in many of the most fateful, and controversial, policy decisions of a difficult quarter-century. Trump may be the Republican best positioned to turn that history against her. She better be ready.

    As someone else has put it, explaining why Clinton lost in Michigan:

    Free trade is Clinton’s albatross. … Clinton has been howling about China’s evil trade policies for years, and she belatedly bucked the White House on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact late last year — but she has the burden of schlepping the albatross of NAFTA with her throughout the Midwest. This is where voters’ lack of trust and her core belief in the value of open markets for American manufacturers collide.

    When Clinton questions free trade, nobody really believes her; Sanders’ thunderous anti-free trade talk taps a vein of deep grievance … voters didn’t buy that the wife of President NAFTA had more credibility on free trade than a guy who walks, talks and barks like a UAW organizer.

    I think there are a significant number of working class whites who would prefer either Sanders or Trump over Clinton. I think this is why most current polling shows Sanders as stronger against Trump. I still think that Clinton will beat Trump, but it might be close, because Trump could be a serious threat to Clinton in Rust Belt states like MI, OH and PA. Trump and Sanders have a convincing message for working class whites in those places, and Clinton does not.

  66. charon says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    A key force in Trumpism is the economic distress of working class whites. There are two candidates who are doing exceptionally well with that group: Trump and Sanders. And it’s because they are seen as the only candidates who are deeply concerned about that distress

    .

    My emphasis added. Actually, it is really because both Trump and Sanders are demagogically giving simplistic answers demonizing stuff like trade agreements.

  67. charon says:

    My comments are going to spam.

  68. charon says:

    Trump and Sanders both offer simplistic solutions, like demonizing trade agreements.

    There exist people who benefit from trade agreements, and the country needs must trade

  69. gVOR08 says:

    The site tells me my comment is in purgatory. Help please.

  70. Tillman says:

    Dudes, jukebox’s name is cursed. I don’t know how often this has been mentioned.

  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    My comments are going to spam.

    My crystal ball says you’re using the Reply feature to reply to me. Don’t do that. For some bizarre reason, the result is what you experienced. It’s been this way for years.

    Trump and Sanders both offer simplistic solutions

    Treating them as similar in this regard is a terrific example of a mindless ‘both-sides-do-it’ attitude.

    There exist people who benefit from trade agreements

    Yes, it’s just too bad most of them live in other countries.

    The site tells me my comment is in purgatory.

    See above.

    Dudes, jukebox’s name is cursed.

    I prefer to think of it as magic. Just imagine all the time I save not replying to people who are prevented from replying to me.

  72. Mikey says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I can reply to you directly all I want. I am special. Muahahahahahaha.

  73. jukeboxgrad says:

    I can reply to you directly all I want.

    Yes, in the past I have noticed that for some people it mysteriously works OK. Maybe it has something to do with the browser you’re using, or maybe it’s just a sign of clean living.

  74. Mikey says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Browser choice seems to have odd relevance on this site. There was a time any comment I made from Firefox got snagged as spam, but from Chrome it was fine. Then after a week Firefox started working again, for no apparent reason, certainly no change on my end.

  75. jukeboxgrad says:

    for no apparent reason

    And this is why I love computers.